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Asking for Truffle

Asking for Truffle, September 2017
Southern Chocolate Shop
by Dorothy St. James

Crooked Lane Books
304 pages
ISBN: 1683312910
EAN: 9781683312918
Kindle: B06XW8GW16
Hardcover / e-Book
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"Feast yourself on Asking for Truffle and enjoy this delicious mystery!"

Fresh Fiction Review

Asking for Truffle
Dorothy St. James

Reviewed by Teresa Cross
Posted August 10, 2017

Mystery Cozy

Asking for Truffle is the first in the Southern Chocolate Shop Mystery for Dorothy St. James and a splendid one it is! An easy reading cozy mystery that keeps you hooked from page one with delicious characters and a delightful story. Oh, and let's not forget all the chocolate you can desire. The novel includes a few of the recipes in the back that with such tempting mentions of chocolate dishes through out your reading you can treat yourself as well with a few.

It all started when Charity Penn who goes by the name Penn receives a letter stating that she won an all expenses paid trip to Camellia Beach, South Carolina. To top it off she even won free cooking lessons from the Chocolate Shop in town! Sounds great and all but she never entered any contest and there must be a catch correct? Her friend, Skinny promises to go check it out for her. He is however found later in that town drowned in a vat of chocolate. The only thing left for a girl to do is to go to Camellia Beach to find out what happened to her friend. But answers do not come easy in a close knitted town and Penn finds herself in some tough situations with many surprises unfolding.

I enjoy a story with such lovable characters, as you will find in ASKING FOR TRUFFLE. Even down to Stella, Penn's pup who is not the friendliest, you will fall in love with her. It is great beginnings to I hope many more adventures for Charity Penn. So sit back with a cup of Mabel's Hot Chocolate, or a bowl of Bertie's Sweet and Spicy Chili and enjoy a copy of ASKING FOR TRUFFLE by Dorothy St. James!

Learn more about Asking for Truffle


When Charity Penn receives a letter saying she won a trip to Camellia Beach, South Carolina complete with free cooking lessons at the town’s seaside chocolate shop, The Chocolate Box, she’s immediately skeptical. She never entered any contest. Her former prep school friend offers to look into the phony prize—only to end up drowned in a vat of chocolate.

Struck with guilt, Penn heads to the southern beach town to investigate why he was killed. But as wary as she is of the locals, she finds herself lured into their eccentric vibe, letting her defenses melt away and even learning the art of crafting delicious chocolates. That is, until delight turns bittersweet as she steps straight into the midst of a deadly plot to destroy the seaside town. Now, only Penn’s quick thinking and a mysterious cask of rare chocolate can save the town she’s learning to love.

Rich and decadent, Asking for Truffle, the first in a new cozy series by Dorothy St. James, is sure to be a delectable read for fans of JoAnna Carl and Joanne Fluke.


On the screen was a newspaper headline:

Man Murdered in Vat of Chocolate.

“What in the world is this?” I asked.

A consummate researcher, Granny Mae searching out articles about chocolate and chocolate shops didn’t surprise me. Digging through information had been her way of helping out after I’d received that phony prize to an obscure chocolate shop on the beach.

I scrunched my brows and read the headline again. Murder by chocolate? The articles that usually caught her fancy were scientific discoveries, political opinion pieces, and human rights violations. Not sensational murders.

“What is this? I don’t have time to read an article about some bizarre murder,” I said and then checked my phone for the call that still hadn’t come.

Granny Mae had three PhDs—one in biochemistry, one in astrophysics, and the third in journalism. Strange or sensational news simply wasn’t her thing.

“It’s Skinny,” she whispered.

“What?” I dropped like a heavy weight into the nearest kitchen chair. A frigid cold that had nothing to do with the outside air settled deep into my bones. I read the entire article. Skinny?

“No. It can’t be. It can’t be him,” I said.

Granny Mae bent down and enveloped me in her warm embrace. Together we cried loud, sloppy, hiccupy sobs, the kind I loathed. But with her holding onto me, making me feel safe and loved, I couldn’t seem to hold back my messy emotions.

After I’d wrung myself dry, she handed me a tissue for my nose and then blew hers as well. “After we met with your friend, I subscribed to the digital edition of Camellia Beach’s local newspaper, The Camellia Current. I was hoping the newspaper might help us learn more about the town and the chocolate shop that sent the prize letter,” she explained. “It’s a small-town paper. Most issues are filled with things like arguments about new land developments at the monthly town council meeting, surf contest results, and this scone recipe. But this morning’s headline…” She tapped the iPad with the heavy scone she still had in her hand.

“I can’t believe it,” I whispered. It couldn’t be true. But each time I read the article, the facts refused to change. Last night Skinny McGee, my Skinny McGee, who’d promised to call this morning to tell me his exciting news, had been dipped headfirst into a huge vat of semisweet chocolate in the back room of Camellia Beach’s local chocolate shop, the Chocolate Box.

The Chocolate Box: the same chocolate shop where I’d won cooking lessons—cooking lessons Skinny had suggested I take.

I need to think.

I need to think.

But my mind, along with the rest of my body, had frozen up.

“Could you let Stella in? She must be a pupsicle by now,” I murmured.

Granny Mae sniffed back tears. She grumbled about the little dog as she padded toward the back door and swung it open, letting in a blast of frigid air.

I looked at the article again.

“Start packing your bags,” Skinny had told me. “You really need to come down here and see this for yourself.”

Why? I silently asked him. What did you find?

What do you think about this review?


1 comment posted.

Re: Feast yourself on Asking for Truffle and enjoy this delicious mystery!

Great review I love the cover, am looking forward to this. Thanks
(Penney Wilfort 4:22pm August 13)

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